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Long-Term Improvement: Blades Only, Or Blades And Persimmons?


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#1 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:17 PM

I am considering going back to blades full time.  I remember that my best golf was when I was playing my Golden Rams, and at the time I had those clubs and the Taylor Made Burner fairway woods from the early '90's.  I wonder if forsaking my metalwoods for real persimmons would be worth it in the long term, or is it too drastic a switch given the huge benefits of today's metalwoods?


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#2 Jiggered

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:18 AM

Depends what aspect of the game you're talking a out when you say long term improvement.

I switched to only vintage blades and persimmons this year, I expect my prowess as a golfer to improve but not my scoring capability.

To put it another way, I hope to be hitting the ball better but won't be relying on modern technology to mask flaws in my swing or to hit the ball further.

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#3 scomac2002

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

The only thing I would caution against is mistaking your choice of equipment for your good play rather than some other factor.  Also, don't count on being able to move back and forth seamlessly should that be something that you do if you're "playing for score" in a scramble or some other event.

While it's always fun to play a round or rounds with vintage equipment, playing wood rather than metal in the long clubs is going to cost shots.  It all comes down to what it is you want from your golf.  I wonder if that is part of the attraction of playing hickory?  When you're in a comp everyone else is playing hickory as well so you are on a relatively level playing field versus what you might encounter in a normal game.
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#4 TimV

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:52 PM

I posted this in Rants and Raves a few days ago...

"In just a few weeks I'll start solely playing my Staff Button Backs and we'll see what happens then. I'm guessing there will be another adjustment period. Especially when moving from "the white driver" to persimmon. I will play them all summer then move to my Mizunos which I consider my transitional set in October, Play them until December then move to my Pings for peak season. Hopefully I'll have a set of the G700's to play this year as I'm saving up for them and they should be on sale by then. Then back to the Mizunos to transition back toward Classic play starting in March. So For me it works like this... June thru September Staff Button Backs, October& November Mizuno Set, December to mid-March Modern Pings, March thru May Mizunos. Around and around I go. lol "

Now the reason I do this is simple. Playing blades and persimmon requires better ball striking. By doing what I do by the time the "Snow Flakes" and Tourists show up in mass and I bring out my Ping G10's (Hopefully G700's this year) I am really centering shots and can rough them up. By the time Peak Season is ending I've gotten lazy and I'm not near as precise. I can feel the difference and my results show it as well. I then transition back and get my skill set back on track. Works for me anyway.


Edited by TimV, 17 May 2018 - 12:53 PM.

Vintage:
60-61 Wilson Staff 2-PW w/t MacGregor Tourney Persimmon Driver & 4 Wood, Wilson Sam Snead Signature Brass Putter

67-68 Spalding Top Flite Professional 2-PW & Palmer FTD SW  w/t Cobra Persimmon Driver & 4 Wood, T.P.M. 12 Putter

Classic:
71-72 Wilson Staff Button Backs 2-PW & R61 Sandy Andy SW w/t Wilson System 3000 Persimmon Driver and 3 Wood, MacGregor Tourney SAT 5 Wood, Wilson Sam Snead Pay-Off Putter

Modern Classic:
'1995' Snake Eyes S&W Forged 3-10 Irons, Hubby Habjan Scotch Blade 2 Iron, Mizuno MP 52-07, Titleist 258-08 Vokey, w/t TaylorMade R5 Dual 10.5 degree Driver, Snake Eyes Quickstrike 19 degree 4 Wood, Brass Anser Style Slotline Putter

Modern:
2016 Wilson Staff FG Tour F5 Forged 4-GW Irons, Wilson Harmonized 55 degree SW, w/t TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0: 10.5 degree Driver, 18 degree 4 Wood, 21 degree Hybrid. Tour Edge CNC Milled Feel III Putter

For S&G:
lil' David Slingers 2-PW w/t Tracks USA 10 degree Driver, 15 degree 3 Wood, and Brass Rammer 3000 USA Putter
*Ridiculous offset on all of these. You have to see it to believe it!  

Founding Father of the Jolly Roger Golf Association Member #1 and only...
(You can join but you have to get the tattoo)

Spank the Persimmon or Walk the Plank!

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#5 Dr. Block

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:49 PM

I went through a season long kick a few years back where I was committed to only playing with the old gear (I was even buying old balata balls off the Ebay). Apart from some absolutely spiritual moments on certain sunny evenings out by my lonesome, I also found that when I did go back to playing my modern gear again, my ball-striking was considerably better.  Especially with my driver.

Edited by Dr. Block, 17 May 2018 - 03:57 PM.


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#6 wrmiller

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:24 PM

View PostTimV, on 17 May 2018 - 12:52 PM, said:

I posted this in Rants and Raves a few days ago...

"In just a few weeks I'll start solely playing my Staff Button Backs and we'll see what happens then. I'm guessing there will be another adjustment period. Especially when moving from "the white driver" to persimmon. I will play them all summer then move to my Mizunos which I consider my transitional set in October, Play them until December then move to my Pings for peak season. Hopefully I'll have a set of the G700's to play this year as I'm saving up for them and they should be on sale by then. Then back to the Mizunos to transition back toward Classic play starting in March. So For me it works like this... June thru September Staff Button Backs, October& November Mizuno Set, December to mid-March Modern Pings, March thru May Mizunos. Around and around I go. lol "

Now the reason I do this is simple. Playing blades and persimmon requires better ball striking. By doing what I do by the time the "Snow Flakes" and Tourists show up in mass and I bring out my Ping G10's (Hopefully G700's this year) I am really centering shots and can rough them up. By the time Peak Season is ending I've gotten lazy and I'm not near as precise. I can feel the difference and my results show it as well. I then transition back and get my skill set back on track. Works for me anyway.


Ha! We call them 'Snow Birds' here in Southern Arizona. But, that is not the peak golfing season. Late next month when the summer rains start is when everything starts growing around here and the greens get really lush and quick. Summer, Fall, and early Winter here is the best time to golf, even though most locals play practically the entire year. :)
I'm not suggesting we kill all the stupid people, I'm just suggesting we remove all the warning labels and let the situation resolve itself.

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#7 TimV

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:41 PM

View Postwrmiller, on 17 May 2018 - 04:24 PM, said:

View PostTimV, on 17 May 2018 - 12:52 PM, said:

I posted this in Rants and Raves a few days ago...

"In just a few weeks I'll start solely playing my Staff Button Backs and we'll see what happens then. I'm guessing there will be another adjustment period. Especially when moving from "the white driver" to persimmon. I will play them all summer then move to my Mizunos which I consider my transitional set in October, Play them until December then move to my Pings for peak season. Hopefully I'll have a set of the G700's to play this year as I'm saving up for them and they should be on sale by then. Then back to the Mizunos to transition back toward Classic play starting in March. So For me it works like this... June thru September Staff Button Backs, October& November Mizuno Set, December to mid-March Modern Pings, March thru May Mizunos. Around and around I go. lol "

Now the reason I do this is simple. Playing blades and persimmon requires better ball striking. By doing what I do by the time the "Snow Flakes" and Tourists show up in mass and I bring out my Ping G10's (Hopefully G700's this year) I am really centering shots and can rough them up. By the time Peak Season is ending I've gotten lazy and I'm not near as precise. I can feel the difference and my results show it as well. I then transition back and get my skill set back on track. Works for me anyway.


Ha! We call them 'Snow Birds' here in Southern Arizona. But, that is not the peak golfing season. Late next month when the summer rains start is when everything starts growing around here and the greens get really lush and quick. Summer, Fall, and early Winter here is the best time to golf, even though most locals play practically the entire year. :)


Almost everyone down here calls them "Snow Birds" as well.
A) I'm not like most everyone.
B) I tend to see them a bit differently.
C) If you saw what I see both on and off the course you'd understand.
;)
Vintage:
60-61 Wilson Staff 2-PW w/t MacGregor Tourney Persimmon Driver & 4 Wood, Wilson Sam Snead Signature Brass Putter

67-68 Spalding Top Flite Professional 2-PW & Palmer FTD SW  w/t Cobra Persimmon Driver & 4 Wood, T.P.M. 12 Putter

Classic:
71-72 Wilson Staff Button Backs 2-PW & R61 Sandy Andy SW w/t Wilson System 3000 Persimmon Driver and 3 Wood, MacGregor Tourney SAT 5 Wood, Wilson Sam Snead Pay-Off Putter

Modern Classic:
'1995' Snake Eyes S&W Forged 3-10 Irons, Hubby Habjan Scotch Blade 2 Iron, Mizuno MP 52-07, Titleist 258-08 Vokey, w/t TaylorMade R5 Dual 10.5 degree Driver, Snake Eyes Quickstrike 19 degree 4 Wood, Brass Anser Style Slotline Putter

Modern:
2016 Wilson Staff FG Tour F5 Forged 4-GW Irons, Wilson Harmonized 55 degree SW, w/t TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0: 10.5 degree Driver, 18 degree 4 Wood, 21 degree Hybrid. Tour Edge CNC Milled Feel III Putter

For S&G:
lil' David Slingers 2-PW w/t Tracks USA 10 degree Driver, 15 degree 3 Wood, and Brass Rammer 3000 USA Putter
*Ridiculous offset on all of these. You have to see it to believe it!  

Founding Father of the Jolly Roger Golf Association Member #1 and only...
(You can join but you have to get the tattoo)

Spank the Persimmon or Walk the Plank!

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#8 Hawkeye77

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:07 AM

OP - you already know the answer to your question.

You have some important comps coming up?

http://www.golfwrx.c...is-sandbagging/

Edited by Hawkeye77, 18 May 2018 - 07:11 AM.


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#9 wkuo3

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:45 AM

If you read the article of Jason Dufner switching irons on the weekend during the Players Tournament, you will understand why he changed back to blade design.  BTW he shot 66 on Saturday with the new blades, the first tournament round.
http://www.golfwrx.c...om-works-irons/

As far as persimmon woods, it's beautiful and I play it from time to time but, the modern driver is more forgiving by a long shot.
I would bag the blades and the persimmon woods at a shorter track to please myself, not for the score.  I guess we all could play a decent game with the correct shaft flex to fit our golf swing.  

I'm doing the reverse of trying the older woods by shorten the modern driver to 431/2" - 44" .  Taking a modified driver out this weekend.

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#10 Chris122

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:11 AM

I have tried that and somehow they didn't feel right so I just bought a 12 degree mini-driver,260cc head,43 !/2" shaft,so close to old school driver specs but modern head technology.
Will hopefully try over the weekend.


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#11 wkuo3

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:57 AM

View PostChris122, on 19 May 2018 - 06:11 AM, said:

I have tried that and somehow they didn't feel right so I just bought a 12 degree mini-driver,260cc head,43 !/2" shaft,so close to old school driver specs but modern head technology.
Will hopefully try over the weekend.

Yes, the 440 cc - 460 cc head on 43'" - 44" shaft looks odd, but they play beautifully.  To compensate for the lighter weight I changed to a heavier shaft and added a few gm. to the head.  I could actually control the shape of tee shots with the larger driver head on a shorter shaft like the old time driver but with much better percentage of success.

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#12 NRJyzr

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:23 PM

View Postwkuo3, on 19 May 2018 - 09:57 AM, said:

View PostChris122, on 19 May 2018 - 06:11 AM, said:

I have tried that and somehow they didn't feel right so I just bought a 12 degree mini-driver,260cc head,43 !/2" shaft,so close to old school driver specs but modern head technology.
Will hopefully try over the weekend.

Yes, the 440 cc - 460 cc head on 43'" - 44" shaft looks odd, but they play beautifully.  To compensate for the lighter weight I changed to a heavier shaft and added a few gm. to the head.  I could actually control the shape of tee shots with the larger driver head on a shorter shaft like the old time driver but with much better percentage of success.


Count me as another disciple of the shorter modern driver length.  I'm of the opinion that making drivers 45" and longer is one of the biggest disservices anyone has done to the game of golf.  Even the Big Bertha was only 44" long.

UL graphite is an abomination in the eyes of the golf gods.  :)

Any driver I get winds up lead taped, or in the case of the TM moveable weight clubheads, lighter weights replaced with heavier options, and cut to no more than 44", most going to 43.5".  It's the only way to fly.

IMHO of course.  :pimp:
The Ever Changing Bag!

Driver:  Ram persimmon, TW805, Precision 6.5, 43"  (TW801 & TW802 w/Dynamic S backups)
3w:  Golden Ram mid-80s persimmon, Precision 6.5, 42.25"
1 iron, Vibration Matched Golden Ram, DGS400
2-PW, 1980 Golden Ram Tour Grinds, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.5", PP58 midsize grip
             (Cleveland Huntington Beach #1 35" -or- Mizuno TPM-2, 35" as backups)
Balls:  in no particular order...  Wilson Staff FG Tour, Duo Urethane, or 50 Elite, Srixon ZStar/ZStar XV
   will trot out Maxfli HT-100 or Elite 90 from time to time
Shoes by True Linkswear
Pure Pro grips, various colors (also trying Royal X-Treme V)

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#13 wkuo3

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:07 AM

View PostNRJyzr, on 19 May 2018 - 10:23 PM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 19 May 2018 - 09:57 AM, said:

View PostChris122, on 19 May 2018 - 06:11 AM, said:

I have tried that and somehow they didn't feel right so I just bought a 12 degree mini-driver,260cc head,43 !/2" shaft,so close to old school driver specs but modern head technology.
Will hopefully try over the weekend.

Yes, the 440 cc - 460 cc head on 43'" - 44" shaft looks odd, but they play beautifully.  To compensate for the lighter weight I changed to a heavier shaft and added a few gm. to the head.  I could actually control the shape of tee shots with the larger driver head on a shorter shaft like the old time driver but with much better percentage of success.


Count me as another disciple of the shorter modern driver length.  I'm of the opinion that making drivers 45" and longer is one of the biggest disservices anyone has done to the game of golf.  Even the Big Bertha was only 44" long.

UL graphite is an abomination in the eyes of the golf gods.  :)

Any driver I get winds up lead taped, or in the case of the TM moveable weight clubheads, lighter weights replaced with heavier options, and cut to no more than 44", most going to 43.5".  It's the only way to fly.

IMHO of course.  :pimp:

Yes.  Just look at the golfers making their living with the game.  Many of them are using drivers less than 45".   Of course not everyone has their swing speed but, we're populated in the same body shape.
I can't remember who started the lighter, longer marketing scheme.  Maybe Ben Hogan company or the Callaway company. And the race had become out of control so the U/S/G/S/ had to put a limit on the length.

I, had used a driver up to 47" in length when I was younger, with a driver head that's 320 cc in volume.  Took me a season of practicing and plenty of range balls to get used to it.  It was shafted with 71 gm shaft in raw weight and the head if I remembered correctly was 203 gm.  Had to go up one flex stiffer in X flex to make it work,   I hit that sucker over 280 carry most of the time.  Still has it in the garage somewhere.  
After a couple of decades of, maturing, and an injury which almost made me a real handicap person.... 44" driver is a friend.

Edited by wkuo3, 20 May 2018 - 08:10 AM.


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#14 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:30 AM

View Postwkuo3, on 20 May 2018 - 08:07 AM, said:

I can't remember who started the lighter, longer marketing scheme.  Maybe Ben Hogan company or the Callaway company. And the race had become out of control so the U/S/G/S/ had to put a limit on the length.

For a long time, the industry standard length for a driver was 43".  The lighter/longer trend started back in the early 1990's when graphite shafts were introduced.  I remember that because of the lighter shaft it allowed for that little extra length, thus extra distance.

Callaway was the culprit for jacking up lengths and lofts of irons.  This happened soon after they introduced their Big Bertha irons back in '94.  The whole industry had followed, and now the standard 5 iron length is 38" instead of 37.5" when I started playing golf in 1990.

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#15 NRJyzr

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:40 AM

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 20 May 2018 - 08:30 AM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 20 May 2018 - 08:07 AM, said:

I can't remember who started the lighter, longer marketing scheme.  Maybe Ben Hogan company or the Callaway company. And the race had become out of control so the U/S/G/S/ had to put a limit on the length.

For a long time, the industry standard length for a driver was 43".  The lighter/longer trend started back in the early 1990's when graphite shafts were introduced.  I remember that because of the lighter shaft it allowed for that little extra length, thus extra distance.

Callaway was the culprit for jacking up lengths and lofts of irons.  This happened soon after they introduced their Big Bertha irons back in '94.  The whole industry had followed, and now the standard 5 iron length is 38" instead of 37.5" when I started playing golf in 1990.

Callaway are the club length culrpit, for certain; it was the GBB that first hit 45".  The Big Bertha was only 44", and could be bought at 43.5" in steel.

Lofts, though, can probably be pinned on Cobra, the King Cobra irons and their 43* PW.  How many guys bought them because they could hit that 7 iron so much farther?  

Ugh

The Ever Changing Bag!

Driver:  Ram persimmon, TW805, Precision 6.5, 43"  (TW801 & TW802 w/Dynamic S backups)
3w:  Golden Ram mid-80s persimmon, Precision 6.5, 42.25"
1 iron, Vibration Matched Golden Ram, DGS400
2-PW, 1980 Golden Ram Tour Grinds, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.5", PP58 midsize grip
             (Cleveland Huntington Beach #1 35" -or- Mizuno TPM-2, 35" as backups)
Balls:  in no particular order...  Wilson Staff FG Tour, Duo Urethane, or 50 Elite, Srixon ZStar/ZStar XV
   will trot out Maxfli HT-100 or Elite 90 from time to time
Shoes by True Linkswear
Pure Pro grips, various colors (also trying Royal X-Treme V)

15

#16 Davewn

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:35 AM

View PostNRJyzr, on 20 May 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 20 May 2018 - 08:30 AM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 20 May 2018 - 08:07 AM, said:

I can't remember who started the lighter, longer marketing scheme.  Maybe Ben Hogan company or the Callaway company. And the race had become out of control so the U/S/G/S/ had to put a limit on the length.

For a long time, the industry standard length for a driver was 43".  The lighter/longer trend started back in the early 1990's when graphite shafts were introduced.  I remember that because of the lighter shaft it allowed for that little extra length, thus extra distance.

Callaway was the culprit for jacking up lengths and lofts of irons.  This happened soon after they introduced their Big Bertha irons back in '94.  The whole industry had followed, and now the standard 5 iron length is 38" instead of 37.5" when I started playing golf in 1990.

Callaway are the club length culrpit, for certain; it was the GBB that first hit 45".  The Big Bertha was only 44", and could be bought at 43.5" in steel.

Lofts, though, can probably be pinned on Cobra, the King Cobra irons and their 43* PW.  How many guys bought them because they could hit that 7 iron so much farther?  

Ugh

The King Cobra sand wedge was also a traditional 56* at the time.  They created the 13* gap at the bottom of the bag and blessed us with the first gap wedge (50*) to address it back in the 90s.  We sold them like hotcakes back in the day though as they were obviously long and priced a bit cheaper than other proline sets at the time.  Supposedly, it was an open stock head at one of the foundries that Cobra latched onto as they had nothing relevant in their lineup and their Baffler Blades, aimed primarily at ladies and seniors, were long in the tooth.  The woods were excellent though-Tiger used one with a DG steel shaft when he burst onto the scene...

Edited by Davewn, 20 May 2018 - 09:36 AM.

Callaway RAZR Fit 10.5* Matrix Radix HD 6 S
Golfsmith HiCor Plus 400cc 13.5* ProLaunch Blue 65S
Innovex RLS 17* 4 wood ProLaunch Blue 65S
Orlimar Black Ti 22* 4 Hybrid stock Litespeed R
Adams A7 5-GW UST Proforce 85R
Golfsmith/Spalding Cash-In SW 55/12 Dynamic S
Cleveland Tour Action 900 60* Dynamic Gold  
Maxfli Tad Moore TM-8 now sleeps with the fishes...
Slotline Inertial 35"

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#17 Chris122

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:58 AM

There's nothing new about extra long shafts in drivers,can't put my hands on it at the moment but in one of Henry Cotton's books 'This Game of Golf' I believe published early 1950's,he discusses pros and cons of longer than standard drivers,illustrated with examples of players using them,one,I think was Chick Evans had a complete set of extended clubs both woods and irons.

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#18 stixman

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:19 AM

Harold Hutchinson, golfer and writer from the turn of the century experimented with 'The Fishing Rod Driver' in a quest for lost length off the tee as he got older. The length and increased twist in the hickory shaft made them uncontrollable. I've seen them in auctions in the recent past.
Vintage various.

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#19 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 06:28 AM

Simple physics, folks.  A longer club means faster clubhead speed.  Watch the 1984 Long Drive competition held at Shoal Creek, starting at 17:22, though the rest of the video is interesting.

https://www.youtube....h?v=UCGT06C2b6g

A 60" driver equals a ton of clubhead speed, and with a name like Wedgy Winchester it's not a laughing matter.

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#20 NRJyzr

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:11 AM

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 22 May 2018 - 06:28 AM, said:

Simple physics, folks.  A longer club means faster clubhead speed.  Watch the 1984 Long Drive competition held at Shoal Creek, starting at 17:22, though the rest of the video is interesting.

https://www.youtube....h?v=UCGT06C2b6g

A 60" driver equals a ton of clubhead speed, and with a name like Wedgy Winchester it's not a laughing matter.


Except when the human element is added (we golfers).  Each golfer has their own individual point of diminishing returns with respect to club length.  And club weight, for that matter.  Some see continual increase no matter how long the club is made, such as the vid example.  Others top out at various lengths.

Personally speaking...  In 2001 or 2002, a friend and I tested this on a swingspeed device with various length drivers.  I topped out at 45", while he could go to 46" and still see speed increase.  A few years ago, a fitting session at a local Class A clubmaker showed me my peak length had shifted down; I was swinging 2-3 mph faster at 43.25" than I was at 44-1/8".

The human element, a lovely variable.

The Ever Changing Bag!

Driver:  Ram persimmon, TW805, Precision 6.5, 43"  (TW801 & TW802 w/Dynamic S backups)
3w:  Golden Ram mid-80s persimmon, Precision 6.5, 42.25"
1 iron, Vibration Matched Golden Ram, DGS400
2-PW, 1980 Golden Ram Tour Grinds, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34.5", PP58 midsize grip
             (Cleveland Huntington Beach #1 35" -or- Mizuno TPM-2, 35" as backups)
Balls:  in no particular order...  Wilson Staff FG Tour, Duo Urethane, or 50 Elite, Srixon ZStar/ZStar XV
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#21 HoldenCornfield

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:06 AM

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 16 May 2018 - 10:17 PM, said:

I am considering going back to blades full time.  I remember that my best golf was when I was playing my Golden Rams, and at the time I had those clubs and the Taylor Made Burner fairway woods from the early '90's.  I wonder if forsaking my metalwoods for real persimmons would be worth it in the long term, or is it too drastic a switch given the huge benefits of today's metalwoods?

Everyone is different, but I wouldn't automatically assume that by switching from modern woods to persimmons that you have downgraded. My scores went down when I made the switch -- after an adjustment period, that is. The reason? Because I was hitting 2 more fairways per round with the woodies.

Here's the logic, or the math, as I see it:

On solidly struck drives with both clubs (modern vs persimmon), what have I lost, in terms of strokes? Well, for me its only 10-15 yards. So, I'm hitting one club more into the green. How many strokes will that cost me over a round? I don't know the exact answer to that question but I seriously doubt it is more than a stroke or two at most per round. I'm sure there is an incremental scoring difference between, say, my 6 iron vs my 7 iron, but in the end my score on any given hole is much more dependent on my short game than whether I hit 6- or 7-iron.

On mishit drives, what have I lost (again, in terms of strokes)? Well, with a mishit persimmon drive I'll probably lose 20-50 yards off my normal drive -- BUT -- it's still in play! Maybe this costs me 1/2 a stroke each time I mishit it. Now, with a titanium mishit I won't lose nearly as much distance but I could be as much as 50-75 yards offline, which usually results in a lost ball, out of bounds, or punching sideways to the fairway. This is a huge score killer! 1-2 strokes every time I do this. It also has an extremely deleterious effect on my mental game (admittedly, the most vulnerable part of my golf game, btw).

With a modern driver I used to average 8 fairways hit per round. So, that's 8 holes where I've gained an incremental scoring advantage for my approach shot, and 6 holes where I've likely incurred a 1-2 stroke blowup. The latter far outweighs the former.

With persimmon I average 10 fairways hit. So maybe I'm taking a little extra club but I'm still shooting at the green. Then there's 4 holes where I've left myself a long iron or fairway wood approach BUT I still have a chance to pitch and putt for par.

Now, here's some anecdotal evidence: this past weekend my neighbor invited me to play in a scramble. We've played a lot together over the last 2 years, and he's seen me play with both moderns and persimmons (mostly the latter). I asked him which ones he thought I should play with, moderns for the distance advantage or persimmons for the accuracy advantage. He responded promptly with, "Your old clubs."

Edited by HoldenCornfield, 22 May 2018 - 08:09 AM.

And if you play persimmon, you're my friend

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#22 Chris122

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 05:48 PM

View PostHoldenCornfield, on 22 May 2018 - 08:06 AM, said:

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 16 May 2018 - 10:17 PM, said:

I am considering going back to blades full time.  I remember that my best golf was when I was playing my Golden Rams, and at the time I had those clubs and the Taylor Made Burner fairway woods from the early '90's.  I wonder if forsaking my metalwoods for real persimmons would be worth it in the long term, or is it too drastic a switch given the huge benefits of today's metalwoods?

Everyone is different, but I wouldn't automatically assume that by switching from modern woods to persimmons that you have downgraded. My scores went down when I made the switch -- after an adjustment period, that is. The reason? Because I was hitting 2 more fairways per round with the woodies.

Here's the logic, or the math, as I see it:

On solidly struck drives with both clubs (modern vs persimmon), what have I lost, in terms of strokes? Well, for me its only 10-15 yards. So, I'm hitting one club more into the green. How many strokes will that cost me over a round? I don't know the exact answer to that question but I seriously doubt it is more than a stroke or two at most per round. I'm sure there is an incremental scoring difference between, say, my 6 iron vs my 7 iron, but in the end my score on any given hole is much more dependent on my short game than whether I hit 6- or 7-iron.

On mishit drives, what have I lost (again, in terms of strokes)? Well, with a mishit persimmon drive I'll probably lose 20-50 yards off my normal drive -- BUT -- it's still in play! Maybe this costs me 1/2 a stroke each time I mishit it. Now, with a titanium mishit I won't lose nearly as much distance but I could be as much as 50-75 yards offline, which usually results in a lost ball, out of bounds, or punching sideways to the fairway. This is a huge score killer! 1-2 strokes every time I do this. It also has an extremely deleterious effect on my mental game (admittedly, the most vulnerable part of my golf game, btw).

With a modern driver I used to average 8 fairways hit per round. So, that's 8 holes where I've gained an incremental scoring advantage for my approach shot, and 6 holes where I've likely incurred a 1-2 stroke blowup. The latter far outweighs the former.

With persimmon I average 10 fairways hit. So maybe I'm taking a little extra club but I'm still shooting at the green. Then there's 4 holes where I've left myself a long iron or fairway wood approach BUT I still have a chance to pitch and putt for par.

Now, here's some anecdotal evidence: this past weekend my neighbor invited me to play in a scramble. We've played a lot together over the last 2 years, and he's seen me play with both moderns and persimmons (mostly the latter). I asked him which ones he thought I should play with, moderns for the distance advantage or persimmons for the accuracy advantage. He responded promptly with, "Your old clubs."

I totally agree in principle and to a large degree in practice,in an effort to reduce weight (of my bag!) I played a lot last autumn with a Macgregor MT 3-wood,5,7,9 and putter,there were times with a soft course and strong winds when I felt handicapped but that old 3-wood was a marvel,not long but pretty much always in the fairway and set up for the next shot.
My problem is a mental one (many heads will nod in agreement),a question of confidence or more accurately a lack of it when you question your own ability to consistently hit a persimmon wood and opt for the easy way out and stuff a jumbo metal in the bag which never achieves the same level of satisfaction.
Given agreeable conditions I'll continue with a Macgregor 3-wood (blonde Mac custom as seen in recent acquisitions), matched with either Muirfields or Apex II's,referred to by others as my 'antique clubs' they are a joy to play with.

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#23 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

It is a given that 43" persimmon will hit more fairways simply because the premise is that shorter shafts mean more accuracy.  However, all my drivers are 43", even the titanium ones.  Combine the larger sweet spot of a 460cc head and a 43" driver my accuracy is even greater.

However, I find also that a mishit of, say one inch away from the small sweet spot will lead to a painful feel in the hands coupled with a distance loss of fifty yards or more.  In the long term, however, I suppose that this will force me to learn how to find the center of the face more, just like the old-school days.  As the practice sessions increase and I get consistently closer to the center, my mishits will be, say, a half- or quarter-inch away from the center and I will still lose distance, but that will mean leaving me with medium or long irons to the green, which I also need to practice.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that every golfer should start with low-tech equipment first before graduating to the high-tech sticks and teeing it up with guys with the likes of today's studs.  Low to high makes far better sense than high to low.

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#24 EmperorPenguin

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 08:49 PM

Let me share with you the set I played with when I was in my prime back over twenty years ago in the mid-1990's.  I did not have persimmons, but I had the Taylor Made Burner driver and 3 wood at 43" and 42", respectively.  They had foam-filled heads to replicate the feel of a more solid head like persimmon, but they still had the outer shell that helped a lot on off-center hits.  To me they were certainly more forgiving than persimmon when I miss it, say, a half inch off center.  They still had small sweet spots, and I discovered recently that if I catch the driver on the center I hit it farther than my other 460cc drivers with the same 43" shafts.  I figured that because the driver head is so much smaller, it has an aerodynamic advantage and cuts through the air faster, thus more distance.  The irons were Golden Ram Vibration matched irons, 1-SW.  I made the stupid mistake of selling the irons when I shouldn't have, but gradually I reacquired the set, and this time with a better sand wedge with a better flange than the matching sand wedge of the Vibration Matched irons, which had far less bounce.  This set is superior because they all have matching shafts (FM 6.5), and the original set I used had a mix of FM 6.5 and DG S300 due to various shaft breaks and repairs.

Posted Image

The Bulls Eye putter was a true blade that again forced me to put a good stroke on the ball, and again I had to practice.  I doubt I can return to the Bulls Eye because I have been using Anser-type putters so much my delayed release due to the offset will not jive with the Bulls Eye, which has no offset and requires a different release, which I had but now no longer.  I may use a George Low Wizard 600 instead of the Bulls Eye.

For now I am indecisive on what to do with the woods: go back to the trusty Burners or punish myself more with the even smaller sweet spots of the persimmons?

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#25 scomac2002

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 01:38 AM

If that's what you used to play, then that's what I would be inclined to go with.  I did a similar thing two or three years back with my first foray into playing "vintage", by cleaning up and regripping a set of BeCu Eye 2 clones that were the first clubs I had bought.  Eventually, I added a set of Big Bertha War bird woods to the bag, a Tom Watson wedge and a Zing putter as those would have been prime choices from that era of mid 80's to mid 90's.  It made for a very playable set that saw the majority of bag time that season.  FWIW, I scored the same with those clubs as I did with something more current.  Not nearly as demanding as blades and persimmon, but more demanding than current tech to be certain.  As I recall that old War bird driver (44" /195 cc) was surprisingly long and very reliable once you got onto it.

Attached File  Copper & Persimmon2.jpg   105.97K   7 downloads

Edited by scomac2002, 23 May 2018 - 05:35 AM.

Your problem is LOFT -- Lack of friggin' talent!


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#26 HoldenCornfield

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:57 AM

View PostEmperorPenguin, on 22 May 2018 - 08:49 PM, said:


For now I am indecisive on what to do with the woods: go back to the trusty Burners or punish myself more with the even smaller sweet spots of the persimmons?

Penguin, I think you just answered your question: if the persimmons feel like a 'punishment' to you then go with the 'trusty' Burners. As I said, everyone is different. Those Burners are classic, too.

Although I will add, as several threads here in the past have attested, not all persimmons are equal. I originally went through about a dozen persimmon drivers to find just a couple that agreed with me. The fact that they're an organic product means quality control is much more variable and then many of them have not aged well due to lack of care. I've found that removing the insert and sole plate and resetting them with new epoxy can make a world of difference in the performance of a persimmon. I've also found that woods with aluminum inserts bonded much better and perform better for me (even without repairing/restoring).

The great thing about classic/vintage golf clubs is that they're so very cheap to experiment with.
And if you play persimmon, you're my friend

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#27 Nard_S

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 07:11 PM

I play with a friend who gets out once or twice a year. He's a mid capper. He has Titleist Tours, vintage is 1989 or so with matching persimmons.The amazing thing is he hits the woods really well. So one day I tried the driver. I was astonished at how easy it was to feel the head throughout the swing. I split the fairway with a decent poke. Any way, my feeling on blades and the metals or woods you mate with them is that they should be consistent. SGI bomber metals is not a good  compliment to blades, a deep face, pear shaped set with traditional forward COG is more appropriate match for a traditional iron. So you can still go big Ti but but one of a classic design. Keep birds of feather flocking together.

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#28 hnryclay

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:36 PM

Persimmons cost me no strokes, but they are really enjoyable to play. I dont play them in tournaments, or in group play, as money is on the line and my partners would be upset. However everytime I am playing for fun, they are in the bag. If you miss with a Driver it will go nowhere, but they are straighter for me. Also I hit the woods every bit as long as my modern clubs. Like any other type of club there are great woods, and cheap woods. My best set is 1950's M85 Tourney Eye o matic Macgregors I have the Driver 3, and 4 wood. I have 10-12 other persimmons and these do stand out. Try a set and see what you can do, they are fun!

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#29 jplroper

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 10:45 PM

I remember reading an article where Ernie Else said he would hit practice drives with his 5 wood to work on concentration and center strikes, said it was about the same size as his old persimmon .

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#30 cannon cocker

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 04:15 PM

As you can probably see this is my first post after recently finding this site.

A little background on me and why I find this topic so interesting. To start with I'm a young 71 and just recently retired. When I stopped playing golf 9-10 years ago after tearing a rotator cuff, I was playing to a 7 handicap. Prior to the injury I played or hit balls 4-5 times a week. After the layoff I just didn't want to devote that kind of time the the game any longer. When I was playing I played blades ( Hogan Apex 2001 mostly ) and metal woods.

Now with more time I have started to hit balls and play a little. The blades are like old friends that are coming around, and they feel so good when hit on the screws. I'm also working through a number of persimmon woods, and intend to play those as well.

I have found that the love is still there, but in a different way. The pleasure of the  journey is now more important than the fewest strokes to the hole.

Thanks for letting me indulge.

Cannon Cocker


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